When Is The Best Time To Transplant And Relocate Hardy Lantana Shrubs?

Filed Under: Techniques & Methods, Planting, Pruning, Perennial Plants · Keywords: Best Time, Dig Up, Transplant, Relocate, Plant, Perennial, Lantana, Shrub, Bushes · 8055 Views
I recently transplanted my Lantana. I was able to dig up and replant immediately. I watered within 2 hours of transplant. I did this in late October and reside in central North Carolina. Shortly (days) after I transplanted Lantana the shrub dried up. (The leaves all dried up and the flowers all died) Will this plant re-emerge in the spring? If I should wait to see if it will re-emerge, when is the latest I should try another transplant? (I have a few other Lantana plants I could try to transplant if needed.)

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Angie-Lantanas are quite hardy and normally transplant with very little problems. Most likely your plant has gone into some transplant shock. The lantana has a shallow root system but it is extensive forming sometimes a solid mat of roots several inches deep. Any damage or removal of this root system when transplanting can readily affect the plants ability to supply it's foliage with the water it needs. If the soil was more on the dry side, even a couple of hours of no water when transplanted can dry roots, shocking the plant, causing leaves and flowers to dry and die. I have never had the best experiences when transplanting lantanas that were mature or had been in the ground for more than a couple of years. Smaller plants that had not developed as extensive a root system transplanted and recovered much more easily. Most likely if you were able to dig up a large portion of the plants root system it will survive. I believe you are in hardiness zone 7 which is near the lower end of the lantanas cold hardiness. I feel it best to wait until late winter or early spring after the last expected frost before transplanting and pruning back the lantana. If the lantana has been growing in the ground for awhile it is best to prune them back some when transplanting them. This gives them time to develop new roots that will support the new growth. Pruning in the fall can cause the death of lantana as this makes the plant less resistant to winter cold weather. Rain entering stems can cause rotting and other diseases when cut back in the cooler wet season.

You can scratch off several small spots of the bark on several of the stems to see if the plant is still alive. The tissue under the bark should be green in color. If the stem is tan or brown the stem has died. Moving down the stem toward the base of the plant will tell you if any of the plant is still living. If the plant is still living there is a good chance it will sprout new growth in spring. Most likely the lantana in your location is now going dormant so you most likely will see very little or no new growth until spring. If the plant is still living you want to help prevent any more stress by keeping the plant moist but not wet and mulch around the plant with chipped bark, pine straw, or compost to insulate it and protect it from any freezing winter cold.

Hopefully this has helped.


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Angie Allsbury

Angie Allsbury · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Thank you, As it is already transplanted I will wait till early spring and see what happens, glad to hear that there is hope that it will make it and now I know when to transplant other one. Thank you

6 years ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
You're Very welcome. Let us know how your plants are coming along in the spring.

6 years ago ·
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Answer #2 · Gardenality.com's Answer · Hi Angie - I agree with John in that the time to transplant hardy lantana is in late winter or spring. Probably the best time is when new growth just begins to emerge in spring. I transplanted several Chapel Hill Yellow Lantana this past spring and all flushed out and are doing fine. Reason being, the smaller root system that remains after digging and transplanting doesn't have to support so much green growth on the top of the plant. Fall transplanting would require that you cut plants back by at least 1/2 their size in order to compensate for root loss. Too, in colder regions, fall pruning of hardy lantana almost always ensures death of the plant. So, for success in transplanting and relocating hardy lantana, it's best to wait until new growth emerges in spring.


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